Liquid Farm, Santa Maria Valley, White Hill Chardonnay 2013 (1.5L)

$79.95 $110.00
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By C4

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

Light yellow-gold. Tangerine, pear skin and a hint of honey on the perfumed nose. Broad and silky on entry, offering pliant orchard and citrus fruit flavors that tighten up on the back half while picking up a touch of bitter quince. Nicely taut for the vintage, finishing with strong thrust and persistent mineral and floral flourishes. Nikki and Jeff Nelson have fully settled into their own facility just north of metropolitan Buellton. They recently took on a full-time winemaker, James Sparks, whose brother-in-law Brandon Sparks-Gillis is part of the Dragonette team, whose space the Nelsons formerly used for their own wines. While there's a pinot noir on the horizon here, the focus is squarely on chardonnay, 'made in the style of wines that we like to drink, which means Burgundy,' according to Jeff Nelson. That said, the Nelsons are quick to point out that their goal 'sn't imitation but emulation' and that they're not trying to suppress 'the fruit that makes California, California. It's more a matter of not letting the fruit get the upper hand and running all over everything else, which means careful growing, harvesting at the right time, and then doing as little as possible from crush to bottling.' The wines do indeed taste Burgundy-inspired and this winery has quickly moved onto a number of sommeliers' 'A list' as a source for domestic chardonnay. (Josh Raynolds) (12/2014)

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